COPIE Toolkit

COPIE Policy Forum 2012 (Berlin) - full conference report available for download

Hosted and organised by the German Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, the COPIE Policy Forum on ‘Entrepreneurship for All: Promoting inclusive growth in Europe through the European Structural F

COPIE @ 'Developing Inclusive Entrepreneurship Strategies' OECD/EU seminar

The promotion and support of self-employment and business start-ups remains underdeveloped in many countries, in particular by groups that are disadvantaged or under-represented in the labour market and entrepreneurship, such as the unemployed, youth, seniors, migrants, women, people with disabilities. The potential of inclusive entrepreneurship schemes, particularly within the context of the current crisis, is still not fully realised.

COPIE @ EU Committe of Regions conference 'An agenda for skills and jobs: Regions and cities contributing to training and active labour market policies'

To demonstrate the importance of the regions and cities in the success of the Europe 2020 strategy and to encourage the exchange of good practice, the EU Committee of the Regions will organise a thematic exhibition during the conference “An agenda for new skills and jobs” in Dublin. The conference will focus on the reform of the labour market, the increase of the skill levels, job growth and job quality.

Inclusive Entrepreneurship in Portugal - new report based on COPIE's Diagnosis Tool

A new report on the application of the COPIE Diagnosis Tool in Portugal is available for download here.

COPIE @ EU Commission conference on: 'Inclusive entrepreneurship – Obstacles and Opportunities for Job creation in Europe'

The conference, which will be opened by Koos Richelle, Director General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion of the European Commission, will give the opportunity to listen to experiences from entrepreneurs from all over Europe and the views of academics on obstacles and enablers of business and thus job creation in Europe.

In the afternoon, good practices from across the EU to address these obstacles will be presented in three parallel workshops on how to

COPIE @ Centre for Parliamentary Studies Symposium

Under the title of 'Supporting Inclusive Entrepreneurship in Europe: Creating Sustainable Employment and Promoting Equal Opportunities', the Centre for Parliamentary Studies in Brussels runs a one-day event on inclusive entrepreneurship in Brussels on September 18, 2012.

COPIE Toolkit for Inclusive Entrepreneurship - full document available online

The COPIE network has now finalised one of its key products, the COPIE Toolkit for Inclusive Entrepreneurship.

‘Entrepreneurship for All: Promoting inclusive growth in Europe through the European Structural Funds’ – COPIE successfully held two-day Policy Forum in Berlin

Copie Story of the Month

The COPIE Policy Forum on "Entrepreneurship for All: Promoting inclusive growth in Europe through the European Structural Funds" took place on April 16-17, 2012 in Berlin. With a total number of 70 delegates from twelve EU countries and thirteen different European regions, this interactive and lively event proved to be an excellent forum for discussing the results of COPIE’s work.

Enhancing transparency in regional and national business support – the COPIE Resources Map

Copie Story of the Month

Effective business support services are at the heart of regional entrepreneurship programmes. Member States and regions in Europe have established and financed a large number of support schemes for different sectors and for different stages in the entrepreneur’s itinerary.
These are mostly delivered by economic development agencies, specialised support organisations, chambers of commerce and craft, business associations, independent advisors or local authorities.

COPIE Tools – Integrated Business Support

The Thematic Group on Business Integrated Support Services aims at identifying the necessary steps that should be taken to structure business support service organisations in one region in a sustainable way. This is crucial for the design and delivery of current and future entrepreneurship programs.

Resources Map

The so-called ‘Resources Map’ is the central tool to be applied in this context. It allows regions to identify organisations, clarify services provided and detect available resources to organize all existing business support services in one area. As a result, policy-makers are able to better plan future actions and programmes to promote entrepreneurship in their area and address respective gaps in the support infrastructure. The Resources Map highlights specialisations of organisations and allows for organising and segmenting them geographically as well as by different phases of the entrepreneurs’ itinerary. These include motivation, pre- start-up support, access to finance, etc.

The central benefit of applying this tool is that it enhances the effectiveness and efficiency of resources provided. It helps to avoid the duplication of entrepreneurship support measures, it promotes cooperation between entities to cover gaps, and, as a result, it creates added value for entrepreneurs.

A guide on how to use the 'Resources Map' is available for download here:

Guide on COPIE Resources Map
Download (pdf, 456 KB)

The full set of documents for applying the Resources Map in your region or country can be found here.

A sample Resources Map from Asturias is also available for download:
Download Resources Map Asturias (pdf, Spanish, 19 MB)

COPIE Tools Entrepreneurship Education

COPIE Entrepreneurship Education Diagnosis Tool

COPIE’s Entrepreneurship Education Tool helps policy makers to identify, analyze, and reflect on the main strengths and the gaps or challenges to be overcome in the design and delivery of entrepreneurship education policies in a given geographical area, taking into account the opinions and perspectives of different stakeholders.

The COPIE Entrepreneurship Education Tool aims at gaining an insight into the state-of-the-art of entrepreneurship education by taking into account perspectives from different stakeholders:

  • Decision makers (national/regional/local authorities)
  • Intermediary organizations/Advisers /Trainers
  • Practitioners (Headmasters/Teachers)
  • Employers (private/public/third sector)
  • Students

Stakeholders are asked to go through and comment on a series of statements about the main aspects of entrepreneurship education as part of a specific set of survey questionnaires. Items are grouped in the following five overall themes, bearing in mind general progression models such as the Progression Model for Entrepreneurship Education Ecosystems in Europe (EC 2010).

  • Definition. Do all actors mean the same by entrepreneurship education?
  • Policy. Is there a coherent strategy put in place?
  • Practice. How is the policy translated into action?
  • Evaluation. What does success look like and how is it measured?
  • Dissemination. What is actually being done to communicate the value of entrepreneurship education?

The views of different stakeholders will be compared at a later stage during the action planning process. The analysis will be carried out from a user perspective, and different stakeholders’ responses will be analysed using COPIE Data Evaluation Tool.

Together with a sample questionnaire, the manual on how to use the Entrepreneurship Education diagnosis tool to undertake an assessment of entrepreneurship education and to identify good practice in a given geographical area can be downloaded here:

Download (Manual) (English, pdf, 222 KB)
Download (Questionnaire Practitioners) (English, pdf, 96 KB)

Should you be interested in applying the tool, do not hesitate contacting COPIE’s Lead expert for Entrepreneurship Education Ivan Diego.

COPIE Tools Access to Finance

On the topic of Access to Finance for small and medium enterprises, COPIE offers ESF and ERDF Managing Authorities the following tool:

Manual on Access to Finance for ESF Managing Authorities in Europe

The manual combines information, experience, tools and examples from the COPIE partnership and the wider microfinance community in Europe that is relevant to the design of microfinance operations under the ESF.

More specifically, the guide

  • Addresses strategic and operational issues in microfinance systems,
  • Presents tools, methods and checklists to identify and assesses policy as well as policy implementation issues and options,
  • Analyses the legal and institutional environment,
  • Discusses good governance and the linkages between financial institutions and business,
  • Identifies development services, and
  • Provides practical examples.

The full version of the Manual is available for download here:
ESF Manual on Access to Finance (pdf, English, 2,2 MB)

In addition, in the course of the work of Thematic group, two instruments were designed to obtain detailed information from the regions involved and assess existing practice.

A COPIE II – Access to Finance Evaluation and Assessment Framework on 'Good Practices'

This framework is designed to detect, describe and analyse good practices of support on access to finance in partner countries. It is inspired by the COPIE 1 Framework and the IMPART Peer Review Manual. The intent is not to ‘dictate’ one practice but to support a diverse range of approaches that work well within a specific context through a shared framework of basic good practice principles. The Evaluation and Assessment Framework includes a description of practices by the country or region concerned, a secondary analysis of the COPIE lead expert and a 1.5 peer review workshop.

For the full description of this tool please see here (pdf, 324 KB)

A Peer Review Methodology for the Access to Finance sector

The peer review is a method based on the exchange of experiences between a 'host country' who presents and wishes to gain feedback on an effective policy (and associated good practice), and 'peer countries' who are interested in:

  • learning from the host example and potentially transferring it into their national setting; and

  • sharing their own policy experiences with the host and other participating countries.

Hence, the process is very much based on a two-way exchange. The peer review takes place over the course of 1.5 days in the host country with representatives from up to 12 peer countries. Each country is represented by a national government official and an independent expert.

The peer review includes presentations on the host country policy example, a round table of the peer countries‟ experiences, followed by a number of working group discussions to facilitate mutual exchange and learning.

Each peer review also includes a study visit organised by the host country where participants can see the direct application and impact of policy on the ground.

Please find the peer-review related documents from the last COPIE Access to Finance peer review in Brussels in May 2011 here (zip, 1,6 MB).

For the presentations of individual speakers please go to the Thematic Group area.

For more information on the thematic group on Access to Finance please see here.

COPIE Tools Quality Management

Self-employment is increasingly perceived as a professional alternative to unemployment and as a means for effective regional development. With the financial support of ESF and ERDF, new business start-up support structures were set up to facilitate this process across Europe over the last ten years. In terms of quality management, however, regional and national entrepreneurial support systems are still very much in its infancy.

Over the course of the project, COPIE’s Thematic Working Group on Quality Management has developed a sample institutional model of qualification and certification for business advisors. This can be used and applied to business advisor networks across Europe. The following two documents provide more details on this model.

  • Short concept of a 'Quality Management System for Business Advisors'. 
    A qualification and certification model of 'Excellence and Award Centres' to implement quality management systems among business advisor networks.
    Download (pdf, English, 145 KB)
    Download (pdf, Spanish, 140 KB)
  • Quality implementation guide. Implementation approaches for quality assurance in publicly financed business start-up support infrastructures in European regions.
    Download (pdf, German, 628 KB)
    Download (pdf, English, 1,2 MB)

In addition, COPIE offers a new set of quality management tools which were developed on the basis of the actual conditions in the partner regions that participated in the thematic group. With this, COPIE contributes to a European discussion on quality in start-up support and provides specific case studies considering sample regional framework conditions.

The COPIE Tools for Quality Management are:
  • Survey on requirements for business advisors and evaluation of the regional infrastructure for business start-ups. Survey conducted in the Spanish regions of Extremadura and Galicia.
    Survey questionnaire:
    Download (pdf, Spanish,  216 KB)
    Download (pdf, German,  218 KB)

    Overview on survey results from Extremadura and Galicia:
    Download (pdf, English, 396 KB)

  • Business advisors' profiling tool. A questionnaire to (self-)assess the qualifications of business advisors. 
    Download (pdf, English, 130 KB)
    Download (pdf, Spanish, 152 KB)
    Download (pdf, German, 233 KB)
  • Self-learning handbook for business advisors in Galicia (in Spanish). Adapted and further developed version of the ACBBA/SFEDI guide on 'How to Be a Brilliant Community-based Business Advisor'.
    Download (pdf, Spanish, 1,2 MB)

    For a brief introduction to the original version of the ACBBA/SFEDI guide on 'How to Be a Brilliant Community-based Business Advisor' in English please have a look at the following document. More detailed information can be obtained through our COPIE expert Norbert Kunz.
    Download (pdf, English, 206 KB)

  • Curriculum for Business Advisor training course. Short description of the curriculum for a business advisor training course based on eight training modules.
    Download (pdf, English, 145 KB)
    Download (pdf, Spanish, 148 KB)
    Download (pdf, German, 136 KB)
  • Business Advisor Passport. An individual instrument of planning, control and documentation for business start-up advisors. The instrument is based on the eight training modules needed to be certified as junior advisor.
    Download (pdf, English, 150 KB)
    Download (pdf, Spanish, 150 KB)
    Download (pdf, German, 120 KB)

In addition, in the course of the work of Thematic group, several instruments were designed to obtain further information from the regions involved in the testing phase.

  • Preparatory questionnaire for regional visits to regions interested in implementing quality standards. A questionnaire used to get relevant information from participant regions.
    Download (pdf, English, 192 KB)
  • Matrix of start-up infrastructure. Matrix of start-up infrastructure to enable comparison between partner regions.
    Download (pdf, German, 88 KB)
  • Start-up advice toolbox. Compilation of all tools used for the start-up-advice process from Extremadura and Galicia.
    Download (pdf, 460 KB)

For more information on the thematic group on Quality Management please see here

COPIE Tools Action Planning

The Action Planning tools for developing and sustaining effective inclusive entrepreneurship policies focus on the following topics:

  • 1. Developing a common vision;
  • 2. Agreeing an evaluation strategy;
  • 3. Building an integrated campaign; and
  • 4. Planning for a legacy.

Each topic is addressed through a specific 1.5 day workshop. For a detailed description of the workshop methodology please listen to the Lead expert’s podcast here.

  • The first workshop looks at the process of building a vision of success that could be accepted by partners and that focussed on the end benefits to the citizen.
    COPIE Workshop: Creating a Vision, March 2010
    Download (pdf,  6,4 MB)
  • The second workshop shares experience of practitioners, policy makers and ESF managing authorities when identifying suitable evaluation measures for activity, results and impacts of inclusive entrepreneurship.
    COPIE Workshop: How do we know that we are any good?, August 2011
    Download (pdf, 6,3 MB)
  • The third workshop compares practice of cultural change programmes in each of the COPIE partners and seeks to identify appropriate media for specific audiences.
    COPIE Workshop: How do we sustain a coherent campaign? Time for a Cultural Change?, December 2010
    Download (pdf, 7,2 MB)
  • The fourth workshop considers a number of approaches to planning for legacy arising from inclusive entrepreneurship as currently adopted by ESF managing Authorities and regional governments.
    COPIE Workshop: Planning for Legacy, May 2011
    Download (pdf, 3,7 MB)

For more information on the thematic group on Action Planning please see here


COPIE Tools - COPIE Diagnosis Tool

The COPIE Diagnosis Tool for inclusive entrepreneurship is a standardised instrument for assessing local or regional business support infrastructures and their inclusive approach towards entrepreneurship. It was developed in 2006/2007 in the context of the European Community Initiative EQUAL and combines a secondary analysis of the overall start-up environment in the region with a direct survey among policy-makers, start-up and business advisors, and entrepreneurs.

Its benefits include

  • an increased awareness of strengths and weaknesses within the regional support infrastructure;
  • the opportunity for comparing perceptions of the needs of different stakeholder groups and clients,
  • the provision of access to European good practice in specific fields of entrepreneurship support and the opportunity for transnational collaboration through COPIE.

Between 2007 and 2011, the COPIE Diagnosis Tool was applied to 18 European regions and cities (please see selected reports in the Policy Debate section of this website).

As a tool based on collaborative action, it was adapted and revised several times based on the experience gained through implementation.

The majority of COPIE partners have applied the tool and have in fact chosen to participate in individual groups based on a diagnosis of the strengths and weaknesses of their respective enterprise support systems.

A new manual for the implementation of the COPIE Diagnosis Tool has now been finalised and is available for download:

COPIE Diagnosis Tool - Manual for implementation (English)
(pdf, english, 383 KB)

COPIE Diagnosis Tool - Manual for implementation (German)
Download (pdf, german, 1,6 MB)

COPIE is happy to also provide you with the data evaluation tool upon request. To obtain this document, please contact our COPIE member Norbert Kunz.

COPIE Toolkit

Many people across Europe are falling through a gap between entrepreneurship and employment policies. On the one hand, many of those responsible for economic and business development feel that entrepreneurship is primarily the reserve of the more educated and technologically advanced members of society. On the other hand, those concerned with social inclusion and employment policy often feel that the way to combat exclusion is through employment.